Greatest Cowboys By Their Jersey Numbers: #73

Part of the Greatest Players by Number Series

Jersey #73

Eight players have worn #73 for the Cowboys. This includes seven offensive linemen and one defensive lineman.

Larry Allen, G/T, Sonoma State, 1994-05

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: Allen played in ten Pro Bowls as a Cowboy and made six All-Pro teams. He will almost certainly be inducted into the Ring of Honor and Hall of Fame.

Longevity: He played 12 seasons in Dallas. He appears to have retired after playing two seasons in San Francisco.

Intangibles: Very few linemen have earned as much attention as Allen. His strength is legendary, as was his ability to move for a man his size. He played four different positions on the offensive line during his career in Dallas, and he excelled at every position.

Dave Burnette, T, Central Arkansas, 1987

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played in one replacement game in 1987.

Intangibles: He was originally as 12th round draft choice by the Colts in 1985.

Monte Clark, T, Southern California, 1962

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: Clark played one season in Dallas.

Intangibles: Dallas acquired him from San Francisco in 1962, and he was a starter for one season. Dallas traded him to Cleveland in 1963. Clark later became a head coach with the 49ers and Lions.

Syd Kitson, G, Wake Forest, 1984

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played less than a full season with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Kitson was a part-time starter with the Packers before being released. Dallas signed him, but he only played one game with the Cowboys.

Ralph Neely, G/T, Oklahoma, 1965-77

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: He made two Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams.

Longevity: Neely played 13 seasons with the Cowboys, despite a variety of injuries.

Intangibles: Neely was the anchor of the Dallas offensive line for many years. He played both right tackle and left tackle and started in four of the five Dallas Super Bowls of the 1970s. He was nicknamed “Rotten,” apparently because he was so mean to rookies.

Danny Noonan, DL, Nebraska, 1987-92

Statistics: Noonan recorded 15 sacks with the Cowboys.

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played six seasons in Dallas before being released during the 1992 season.

Intangibles: Taken 12th in the 1987 draft, Noonan was the highest Dallas pick since Tony Dorsett in 1977. Noonan became a starter by 1988, but injuries slowed his career quite a bit. Though not a bust on the same level as Kevin Brooks, Billy Cannon, or Rod Hill, he never came close to becoming a great defensive lineman.

Kurt Ploeger, DL, Gustavus Adolphus, 1986

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played less than a full season with the Cowboys.

Intangibles: Dallas drafted Ploeger in 1985, but he was injured that season. He played three games with Dallas in 1986 before he was released. He also played with the Packers and Vikings.

Steve Wright, T, Northern Iowa, 1981-82

Statistics: n/a

Accolades: None.

Longevity: He played two seasons in Dallas.

Intangibles: Wright was waived by Dallas in 1982, but he managed to stay in the league. He developed into a starter for the Colts and Raiders (he also had a stint in the USFL) and enjoyed a lengthy career.

Poll

Here is your chance to vote for the greatest player to wear #73.

Greatest #73

  • Larry Allen (92%, 110 Votes)
  • Ralph Neely (8%, 10 Votes)
  • Kurt Ploeger (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Dave Burnette (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Monte Clark (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Syd Kitson (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Danny Noonan (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Steve Wright (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 120

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My Vote: Allen

Larry AllenThis one is not quite a clear-cut as some may think, given that Neely was an outstanding lineman for many years. However, this one should go to Allen, who is one of the best linemen in NFL history. Very few professional athletes have been stronger, few linemen have been quicker, and even fewer linemen have been as versatile as Allen.

Neely was a better tackle than most and was a great complement to Rayfield Wright during the 1970s. The others were mostly backups or– in the case of Noonan– at least a semi-bust.

  • yes, Neely was very good but Larry Allen just may be the greatest lineman of all time. I will never forget as Rookie him chasing down that LB from the Siants (I think) from behind after it appeared the Saints were going to score a defensive touchdown. that was a peek at how great Larry Allen was going to be.. HOFer, first ballot!

  • Fred Goodwin

    Same here, Marty. Y’all know I love the old-timers, but Allen is clearly heads-and-shoulders above everybody, even Neely, so he gets my vote.

  • I had to give Neely his due, but I don’t think anyone would question that Allen was a better player. I think Allen would get the nod over any former lineman, including Rayfield Wright. That says a lot.

  • robert

    You must admit, it was pretty great when Danny Noonan finally sank that putt to beat Judge Smails.

  • yes, even over Rayfield Wright.. Larry Allen is arguably the best offensive lineman in NFL history.

  • Tim Truemper

    Got go with Larry.

    And yes, I remember the time he ran down a DB after a fumble recovery. What a play.

    Anyone seen the time of his super Bench Press (600lbs?). Rocket Ismail dove over him after he did the press.